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Lions, 'Huskers split vote at No. 1

After posting their most impressive victories of the season, Penn State and Nebraska felt they deserved to be No. 1. Both got their wish Sunday.

Nebraska, which defeated previously unbeaten Colorado 24-7 Saturday, was No. 1 in the Associated Press media poll. Penn State, which trounced Ohio State 63-14, was No. 1 in the USA Today-CNN coaches' poll.

If they finish unbeaten, Penn State (7-0) would go to the Rose Bowl as Big Ten champion and Nebraska (9-0) would go to the Orange Bowl as Big Eight champion. Bowl victories by the Nittany Lions and Cornhuskers could result in a split national title for the third time in five years.

Neither team plays an opponent currently ranked in the AP Top 25 the rest of the regular season. Penn State would face the Pac-10 champion in the Rose Bowl, and the Pac-10 champ would have at least two losses.

Nebraska, however, likely would face a top 10 or even a top 5 opponent in the Orange Bowl, most likely Miami if its defeats Syracuse on Saturday in the probable battle for the Big East title.

Nebraska coach Tom Osborne and Penn State's Joe Paterno refused to lobby for the top ranking.

"All we want to do is play well," Osborne said. "If people think we deserve to be No. 1, great. If not, then we've done all we can."

"I think at the end of the year, after everyone's played all their games, if I feel (that we're No. 1), I'll say it," Paterno said. "I think you win it by playing the season out."

The top teams


Team Record

1. Nebraska 9-0-0

2. Penn State 7-0-0

3. Auburn 8-0-0

4. Florida 6-1-0

5. Miami 6-1-0

6. Alabama 8-0-0

7. Colorado 7-1-0

8. Florida State 6-1-0


1. Penn State 7-0-0

2. Nebraska 9-0-0

3. Miami 6-1-0

4. Alabama 8-0-0

5. Florida 6-1-0

6. Florida State 5-1-0


Team Points+

1. Nebraska 3,038

2. Penn State 3,034

3. Auburn 2,854

4. Miami 2,640

5. Florida 2,635

6. Alabama 2,579

7. Florida State 2,418

+_Bowl coalition points are determined by adding point totals from the AP and coaches polls. For Auburn, which is on probation and ineligible for the coaches poll, points from the AP poll are doubled.